But God forbid that I should glory
The apostle, on the contrary, expresses his aversion to glorying in anything these men did; not in his outward carnal privileges, as a Jew; nor in his moral, civil, and legal righteousness; nor in his gifts and attainments; nor in his labours and success, as of himself; nor in the flesh of others, or in any outward corporeal subjection to any ordinance, legal or evangelical; his glorying and rejoicing were rather in the spirituality, the faith, hope, love, patience, order, and steadfastness of the saints, than in anything in the flesh, either his own or others: and indeed he chose not to glory in any thing,
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ;
meaning either the infirmities, reproaches, tribulations, and persecutions, which he endured for the sake of Christ, and the preaching of his Gospel; or the Gospel, the doctrine of the cross of Christ, and salvation by it: or rather a crucified Christ himself, whom he preached; though counted foolishness by some, and was a stumbling to others: he gloried in him, and determined to know, and make known, none but him, in the business of salvation; he gloried in him as crucified, and in his cross; not in the wood of the cross, but in the effects of his crucifixion; in the peace, pardon, righteousness, life, salvation, and eternal glory, which come through the death of the cross; he gloried in Christ as his wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption:
by whom the world is crucified to me:
so that he feared not the worst men, and things in it, any more than he would one that was fastened to a cross, or dead; since Christ, by his crucifixion and death, had overcome the world, the prince of it, the men and malice of it, the sin that was in it, and had made him more than a conqueror also; his faith in a crucified Christ overcame the world likewise; so that he looked upon it as the Israelites saw the Egyptians, dead on the sea shore; nor did he affect and love, but trampled upon and despised, as crucified persons generally are, those things in it which are the most alluring to the flesh, the lusts of it; the doctrine of grace, of a crucified Christ, taught him to deny the riches, honours, pleasures, profits, and applause of the world; which were to him as dross, in comparison of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord: the ceremonial law also, the elements of the world, were dead unto him, being nailed to the cross of Christ, to be of no further use and service unto men:
and I unto the world;
that is, am crucified to the world, as the Syriac and Arabic versions express it; that is, he was despised by the world for the sake of a crucified Christ, as the world was by him, in comparison of him; the world had no affection for him, as he had none for the world; and as the ceremonial law was dead to him, so he was dead to that, through the body of Christ, and had nothing to do with these beggarly elements, nor they with him, which sense is confirmed by the following words.